`Free parking for Christians` row

Free parking for Christians attending churches in Tewkesbury is threatening to pit the mayor against other borough councillors who fear it may be discriminatory.

The Gloucestershire town is reviewing its parking strategy, including the possibility of extending the free parking already in place at a car park close to Holy Trinity Church.

Mayor Brian Calway told the Gloucestershire Echo: "We're a Christian country. I fail to see anything discriminatory about providing facilities for practitioners of the basic religion of this country. It's a nonsense to worry about that in a Christian town - we haven't got any mosques or synagogues."

He favours extending the exemption to all car parks to take into account the other six churches in Tewkesbury. But a majority of the team feel the idea may be viewed as unfair to other faiths.

Councillor Mike Collins worried it would be perceived as discriminatory in "the modern PC world". He said: "I'm not the most PC person but to single out one section would be discriminatory. Someone who isn`t a Christian might complain about prejudice against them. We have to be totally inclusive."

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